Power Word Hopscotch

Power Word Hopscotch

We recently did some Power Words Hopscotch to help my daughter practice her vocabulary.

I drew a hopscotch board on the driveway in chalk and filled it with some of her Power Words (also known as Sight Words).  Most of the words were ones she kept missing, but I also threw in some she knew well as encouragement.

One of the reasons we did a game like this – with her calling out each word as she jumped to it – was because she’s supposed to know these words on sight instead of having to sound them out each time.

And my daughter is always in a hurry, always rushing through her reading, so she often doesn’t take the time to sound things out anyway.  She just guesses.  One of the most important things in the world to me is that reading is fun for my kids, so instead of sitting her down and having her get frustrated and upset at herself, I’ve been trying to incorporate more learning activities that include movement and laughter.

Because for as much as I read to her every day, and as much as she would ask me to read to her, she wasn’t in a hurry to learn herself.  To keep up with her classmates, though, she needs to practice.  So we’ve been playing “games” instead of just sitting in a chair and going over flashcards again and again.  ‘Cause that’s even boring for mommy….

This one was a suggestion from her teacher and it worked out really well.  The chalk lasted for days (it didn’t rain) and every day for a week she would ask to go out and play hopscotch, including each time we were getting in and out of the car for school.

Plus, she called out the words for her younger sister, so they could both play.  Extra practice for the big sis, and a heartwarming moment thrown in for good measure.  :)

Power Word Hopscotch

I also love this concept of hopscotch for learning because of the versatility.

You could use this for other vocabulary words, of course, but also for just letters for the younger crowd.  For example, if you’re working on some Alphabet Activities with your preschoolers, you could practice your alphabet by putting letters instead of the traditional numbers inside the squares.

How do you practice vocab with your kids?

Happy learning!

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Painting With Chalk

Painting with Chalk

A bit of a warm streak hit us here in Florida while most of the rest of the country was freezing.  It’s a strange December when it’s 80 degrees outside.

Anyway, it does mean we’ve been spending plenty of time outdoors.  In shorts, too, but that’s not the point.

One of the things I showed my girls today was that chalk wasn’t just great for drawing – it was great for “painting,” too.

This is a method of drawing where you simply dip your chalk into a cup of water before drawing with it.  (Kind of like watercolor pencils.)

I let the chalk soak for a few seconds before drawing, and I repeatedly dipped it back into the water while drawing.  The wetter it was, the smoother the finished product.

Painting with Chalk

You can see that I made some different shapes to show my girls how the colors would look when the chalk was wet.  It was brilliant against the brick and smooth to the touch. My oldest daughter liked to blend the colors.

You could, obviously, also do this on concrete, but we have brick in the backyard.  Whatever surface you usually use for chalk drawings should work.

We also used the blocks from the chalkboard storage box and blocks set I made.

And my girls also drew all over themselves with the wet chalk.  My 21-month-old especially.  She covered her legs in the wet chalk, and thought it was hysterical.  Luckily, one of the reasons I love chalk so much is it’s very, very easy to wash off.

Have you tried this?  I’d love to know if your kids enjoyed it, too!

Chalkboard Pumpkins: Halloween Crafts

This October, I decided to incorporate my daughters’ love of chalk into our Halloween activities.

The result?

Chalkboard pumpkins!

chalkboard pumpkins halloween and thanksgiving crafts for kids

These were so easy.  I started with a can of my trusty chalkboard spray paint, and picked up 3 foam “carve-able” pumpkins from the Dollar Tree.

Since the pumpkins were a bit porous, I did a few more coats than I normally would.  I placed them on some old cardboard, sprayed the bottoms first, then turned them over and sprayed the top.

Did 5 coats over the top half-ish.  Let the paint dry between coats, of course.  Then took them, and a box of chalk, outside.  Did some crafting in the fresh fall air.

chalkboard pumpkins halloween and thanksgiving crafts for kids

The girls spent a lot of time decorating their pumpkins.  Spent some time wiping off the designs with a damp paper towel, and then drawing all over them again.

The pumpkins are decorating our house now.  And they’ll be re-decorated themselves a few times before Halloween even gets here.  But, because they’re pumpkins, we’ll probably leave them out for Thanksgiving, too.

One thing important to mention, is that we did initially play with these outside, but they’re really indoor decorations because of the material the pumpkins are made from.  But you could always use something different if you want to display them outdoors.

chalkboard pumpkins halloween and thanksgiving crafts for kids

chalkboard pumpkins halloween and thanksgiving crafts for kids

And just for informational purposes, here is a photo of the half-finished pumpkins, to give you an idea of what they looked like while they were being painted:

chalkboard pumpkins halloween and thanksgiving crafts for kids

Have fun – and let me know if you try it!  :)

Oh, and here are our Halloween crafts from last year!

Plus, read about the Digital Wasabi Tape I used in this post.

This project was featured at:

Sweet Bella Roos

Free Kid Activity: Chalk on Construction Paper

drawing with chalk on construction paper free activity for kids

Okay, it’s not technically free because you have to buy the chalk and the construction paper, but if you’re like me, those are things you had on hand anyway.  So, kinda free.

The photo shows some ice cream-shaped chalk that I bought for our Letter I Activities.  We were doing something else with the construction paper, and the chalk was nearby.  My 18-month-old started playing with the chalk, so I showed her she could scribble on the construction paper with it.

This works best on dark paper because of the contrast, but it also works on lighter colors, so you could let your kids play with a variety of colors to experiment with the results.

And this is a great project because chalk washes right out of clothing or off of carpet or couches or whatever else it gets on.  Easy clean-up is always a benefit.

Especially great for rainy autumn or snowy winter days!